Tips for Shoppers

Seriously, a majority of people out there need these tips. Either that or someone to smack you upside your head for the rudeness, idiocy, meaness and just down right bad treatment who are there to serve you. Please note that these tips aren’t for everyone, just the really bad customers who make working retail a living hell.

I am writing these tips because they are things that I have experience from working retail for many a years and I have finally reached my breaking point. I am tired of being someone’s punching bag just because they think they have the right to treat me like crap because they aren’t going to get their way. You would be amazed at how often a full-grown human adult acts like a 2 year old having a temper tantrum. Its annoying as hell and I am frakking tired of it. Sorry, but the human race is mean when it comes down to it. We aren’t naturally nice and sweet and what not. We are mean, territorial and asshats to the extreme naturally.

  • Say Thank You every once in awhile. The people serving you are usually on their feet all day long and being treated like they aren’t human. A thank you from someone can really make a day better.
  • We don’t give a flying shit if you can’t find what you are looking for. We don’t have a factory up our asses to make it for you. We smile and say we are sorry. Because we are but we can’t change the fact if we don’t have the toy your kid has to have right now and its not going to ruin our day. So quite screaming.
  • If you sign a lay-a-way contract and people have repeatably tried to get a hold of you. Do not threaten to sue us because you lost your money since you couldn’t figure out how to use a damned phone to explain a situation.  They’ve been around since the mid-1800s, I’m sure you are THAT old.
  • Scream at me all you want, all you are doing is pissing me off and making me less likely to actually help you. If it continues, you will be asked to leave the premises due to the harassment.
  • If the policy says no refund – it means no refund. Not no refund except for you. Seriously, read the fine print or listen.
  • We don’t have one on one service in most stores, realize that there are other customers that need to be taken care of other then you. We will do our best but on a good day its 1 worker to 3 customers, on a bad day or sale/holiday season its 1 worker to about 10 customers. Its kinda hard to be glued to your side the entire time. Please understand we want to help you as much as possible. And we will. But if you go rude on us do not expect us to kiss your ass.
  • If you are having a hard time shopping during the holiday season do not take it out on the employees of the store. Most likely you aren’t the only one having a bad day and that employee you are screaming at has had to deal with your bad day and everyone elses. Use the holiday spirit and show some kindness by understand that your bad day is nothing compared to the person you treat like crap. If you are nice to them – they will be better to you and help you more then someone who is making them want to jump in front of a bus because the sweater isn’t in your size.
  • Karma happens – seriously. And if you aren’t into that… do unto others. Its the Golden Rule for a frakking reason. What else – what goes around, comes around. Blah blah blah….
  • Another holiday tip – everyone deserves to be happy during the holidays, even those who don’t celebrate it. But working retail usually makes most retail workers dread it… give the gift of kindness. I am saying it again for a reason.
  • Do not lie to us, we aren’t stupid. We know lies when we hear them since we hear those and more then enough excuses for the entire senior class to use to play hookie everyday of the year. Seriously, look down on us all you want – we aren’t dumb because we work retail. We work retail because we want to.
  • If you break something do not hide it and leave the store. Pay for it! If you don’t its the same as stealing something. It is theft, that thing is now unsellable and will be thrown away. Money out the door.
  • If you see someone shop lifting – tell a sales person so they can handle the situatioin. You are as guilty as someone else if you see a crime being commited and don’t do something to correct the situation. At least in my eyes. Would you turn a blind eye on someone who was beating the life out of a child or robbing a bank? No… a crime is a crime. Make the world slightly better and be a person who helps instead of ignores.

Thats about it… I’m in a foul mood because I was screamed at on the phone for a half hour with a customer we have now decided to ask to not ever come back into our store. That they are banned. For many of the above reasons. It sucks… and I am tired of it. Really I am. I don’t deserve to be screamed at because someone elses life is crappy. If I could do it without loosing customers I would hang up on every single person that was rude to me.

And seriously, since working retail for the past 5 years straight I am really hating the human race. I have lost pretty much all hope and thoughts that we are any good because of the amount of abuse that it thrown in my face on a weekly basis by others who think nothing of treating me like crap because I am just a thing to them. I am not a thing. I am a human being who deserves respect if for nothing else other then being there with a smile on my face even though for all you know my pet died that morning or I am going thru a break up with my boyfriend. I listen to your problems and don’t ask for the same in return. I will do everything in my power to make you happy and give you what you want. I listen to you talk hatred without being able to stand up for myself. I have my holidays and good days ruined so you can make yours slightly better.

Thats all for my bitching at the moment… damn I am so not looking forward to Christmas.

Ant vs. Elephant

I get a lot of questions from people when I say I try to shop at small local stores instead of large chain stores. And I guess the easiest way to answer is – working in a small store I can understand how hard it is to struggle against the monolithic chains. Its extremely difficult and in dealing with them sometimes is more headache then its worth.

Example – I work next door to a Target. The Target stores seem to think that because they are Target that they can do pretty much whatever they want without thinking about any other stores. Last year it was the reconstruction they did to expand their store. We found out the day it started even though being right next door, they didn’t think to let us know that they would be blocking the entrance to our store for 7 months. Making the old ladies that want to buy a Jesus statue or a few prayer cards or a rosary have to wade thru a construction zone. Not they have to worry about that – their entrance was moved to the far end of the shopping center. Their customers need not worry. This also added on the constant blocking of our back entrance where we receive delieveries of large amount of candles. When we would talk to them, they would just hand us to the next person in line. It was a complete and utter pain in the ass.

And I like Target. I really do, I shop there all the time. But I would rather not but sometimes you just can’t get what you want unless its from a chain store. Because the small stores that tried to compete with them no longer exist. Because you can’t. If you try – you lose.

Another example – we just found out that because a home improvement center wants to be in our shopping center (their closest location is 6 blocks away, oh dear!) we may have to disappear from a location we love. Because the owner of the shopping center doesn’t care. And the home improvement center definatly doesn’t  and when their construction may start – well, it will happen during the Christmas season. One of the two seasons that keeps us alive thru the summer time. Yeah, that will suck ass big time.

But the biggest example of all is Wal-Mart… I do not shop there unless I absolutly have to. They are the worst of the worst. They will go into a small community and carry the exact things being sold in the small stores and undercut the costs to get people to shop at Wal-Mart. Because if you go in for one thing, you will keep shopping for everything else while you are there. They don’t want you to go to another store for anything. The main reason – they want to be the only store that exists. There is a real evil behind that smiley face. And when I mean undercut – they will sell under the actual costs, to get people to distrust other stores who sell at the Suggested Retail Price. An average customer will think – if I can get this movie for 13.97 at Wal-Mart why do I have to pay 24.95 at so-so store? Why? Because the so-so store can’t even buy that movie at 13.97. Add in the fact that they are not good to their employees and pretty dang sexists (I experienced this first hand when I worked there and wasn’t allowed to take a break from cashiering until 7 hours into my 8 hour shift). You can find out more about this monstrosity here: http://walmartwatch.com/

And breathe….

Sorry, Wal-Mart gets me a little worked up from time to time. So, why do I shop locally… because I feel for the people who are suffering because Target, Wal-Mart, GNC, Chili’s, etc need to have just one more location a few blocks from the last one. Because people who put their entire livelyhood, finances, life, peace of mind, health on the line to fulfill a dream of owning a store happen… only to be destroyed by the Elephants of industry who only care about how much money they can make and how much they can destroy small businesses (that is mainly wal-mart). These small business’ don’t get bought out by bigger stores, they pretty much can lose everything because its easier for us to go to a Barnes & Noble then it is a small book store.  Or to a Chili’s because its known then trying out a new small family owned resturant whose food is just as good if not so much better. Its also another reason why I try not to shop online unless its something I can not buy in town. But thats another blog…

So, in today’s retail world its Ant vs. Elephant… and then Ant’s don’t seem to have a chance at all.